by Andrew Crawshaw
Before I start thinking about our match on Saturday a quick update on the PGMO world in general.
- Since my last update the PGMO have introduced an additional referee to the PL this year. Following an unsuccessful single game a couple of seasons ago Simon Hooper was given another trial in the Newcastle v Burnley game in Matchweek 25 (it ended in a 1 – 1 draw), this time there weren’t howls of derision from the referee watchers in the twittersphere so I guess he might be seen again.
- Manchester United have still seen the fewest different referees with 11, Liverpool have had 12, Watford and Palace have had 13, most clubs have had 14 or 15, Southampton 16 and Stoke and Brighton 17.
- No team has yet to see a referee for a fifth time.
- Arsenal, Huddersfield, Leicester, Man City, Southampton, Swansea, Watford and West Brom haven’t yet had a fourth visit from any referee.
- United (not surprisingly given the few referees they have seen) have the most referees doing four matches (Pawson, Moss and Marriner), they also have triple visits from Taylor and Atkinson.
On to Saturday and most of you will probably be aware that our officials are :-
- Referee – Anthony Taylor Age 39 From Cheshire and FIFA accredited
- Assistant Referee 1 – Gary Beswick from Durham and FIFA accredited
- Assistant Referee 2 – Adam Nunn from Wiltshire and FIFA accredited
- Fourth Official – Bobby Madley Age 32 from West Yorkshire and FIFA accredited
So a fully FIFA accredited compliment of match officials which should give us all a sense that the game will be in competent hands – am I the only one who is sceptical at this time?
This will be the third time this year that we have had Mr Taylor in charge of one of our games.
Arsenal v Bournemouth (3 – 0) 9 September with both Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn as Assistants. There were two controversial incidents; King should have had two yellow cards when he first elbowed Kos then trod on him a foul was given but nothing else; the second incident was when Smith blocked a Kolasinac shot in the penalty area with his arm away from his body, this should have been a penalty. See clip 10 on Usama’s thread
Arsenal v Chelsea (2 – 2) 3 January with Adam Nunn and Lee Betts as assistants. Here again there were two controversial incidents. Hazard grossly exaggerated any contact from Bellerin to win an undeserved penalty ; Wilshere should have had a second yellow card for a dive (clip 35). The Chelsea penalty cost us two points.
Here is my Summary from that report :-
- Mr Taylor is definitely not a referee to be trusted despite us winning more games than we lose when he is in charge.
- His bias figures against us are biblical
- If we can establish a three goal lead then he tends to change and become an ‘honest broker’
- Only the most blatant of penalties will be given in our favour
- Virtually every match an opposition player is given a ‘licence to kill’ and is then allowed unlimited fouls against our players without fear of being given one let alone two yellow cards.
- Arsenal players are never ever allowed any freedom at all and will always be sanctioned to the maximum allowed in the rulebook.
- Make no mistake our task to beat Tottenham will be made much harder by Mr Taylor and his team of FIFA accredited match officials.
I saw few signs in the Chelsea game of him changing his spots and becoming more trustworthy, although he could have dismissed Wilshere with a second yellow card for a dive (our ref reviewers would have done so).
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- With Serial divers Alli and Kane on the pitch and a manager who seems to actively encourage such cheating there is an extremely high probability that Spurs will be gifted at least one penalty
- It will take a first half performance like we produced last week to take the outcome of the game out of Mr Taylor’s largesse.
- Tottenham H v Arsenal. Tottenham have looked stronger, but is there an edge for Arsenal?
- Six Arsenal departures this summer, 19 arrivals plus a new manager spotted.
- Why Auba is the new Robert Pires